Quarterback Alex Smith reviews Sunday's dismal loss to the Chicago Bears in this latest 49ers.com exclusive "In the Huddle with 11."**
Sunday's game was not one you want to have to recap but that's what you've got to do to progress.
I would imagine fans are disappointed. It got out of hand so quickly. It wasn't even the end of the first quarter and we were in a big hole. I had never seen anything like that. They are a good team and it's not to take anything away from them, but turnovers really killed us.
I don't watch the defensive tape but to watch the offense, it's pretty clear. When you turn the ball over that many times - fumble the opening kickoff, then go three and out and then two more turnovers. You put yourself down 24-0, you aren't going to succeed doing that.
We need to continue moving forward and to have progress. I can only focus on what I can control. Looking at that tape yesterday, ball security is an issue. Brian Urlacher made a great play on the one, but the first fumble, that is something that I can fix.
On that interception play by Urlacher, sometimes you are just going to have those. I don't know that there was anything I could have done. It was hats off to him. It was a great play. I thought I had a throwing lane. I didn't see him there and he got his hand up and made a pretty great catch with one arm while getting blocked. Deflected passes happen sometimes, and he really just made a great play.
On the scramble where I fumbled, Urlacher came free and I was able to make him miss and got some positive yardage but I needed to get down and protect the ball. I've got to do a better job in terms of how I'm carrying it and holding it tighter to the chest and just being more conscious of it.
Without those turnovers, I think it could have been a much different ballgame. I just think they do well when they play with a lead. They pressure early and get to that Tampa 2 defense that they've made pretty well known, but they don't get to play that defense unless they are in control of that game. I think if we keep the score realistic, you are talking about a much better match up.
As it was, we continued to put ourselves in a hole. We had a late first half drive going and we went for it on 4th and 1. I scrambled around a little and went to Frank but he had stepped out of bounds and so wasn't eligible to be the first to touch the ball so that was a penalty, and put us at a 4th and 6.
I threw that post in there to Antonio. It was tight throw in there and kind of a bang, bang play with that safety there and they got a good hit on the ball and it came out. It happened pretty fast. But it showed we can get those and if we can get down and hang on to the ball, it is a first down and we move those chains.
Instead they scored and we went into the half down 41-0. I think you find out a little bit about yourself and your team when you are down like that.
I'd never been in a game where at halftime it was pretty much over. To be in games where you are down two or three scores, there's a lot of game left but to be down that far against a defense that hadn't given up more than a touchdown at home is pretty different. It gave us a chance to show our true colors and we did do a great job of coming out and competing and playing hard when I think it could have been easy to fold it in.
There were some positives from that second half.
I think first of all you can learn about yourself and your team. The game was out of reach it felt, but we still wanted to play for each other. Guys are going to go back out there no matter what happens and continue to compete and put everything on the line, and show accountability to your teammates.
There were things we did well here and there. Frank ran well and had some big plays in the run game, and there were some glimpses of good things in the passing game.
We came away with a touchdown with a 16-yard pass to Antonio Bryant. He wasn't the first read but he was in the progression and from the way they'd been playing us I knew he had a chance on that play. I tried to move the safety with my eyes and came up throwing to Antonio and he did a good job beating the corner and made a good catch to get the score.
Everyone wants to make this about being a problem playing on the road, but I don't really see why that should have anything to do with it, or any reasons that it should be an issue. We've played good teams on the road both times this year. We played Kansas City after a bye and they were in a must-win situation and really had some time to prepare for that game. Chicago has played extremely tough at home and are one of two undefeated teams in the NFL, so we knew it was going to be a challenge for us.
Ultimately, turnovers were our undoing and what we must work on.
I think absolutely that we have the character to rebound and rally from that. I think we understand that it was not a true reflection of where we are at. I don't sense that this team doubts where we are headed or the growth we see as an offensive unit. We are making the steps in the right direction.
I'll watch the game tonight with the Patriots and Vikings and study it. It's tough from the television, but I'll pick up on some stuff I'm sure. I'll be looking especially when their defense is on the field, so it's just a little early preparation for this Sunday.